View All Slideshows
Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 1
A panga crashed near Vandenberg Air Force Base
BY AMY ASMAN
A boat carrying at least $1 million worth of marijuana that washed up on Wall Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base on March 7 is a panga, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials confirmed on March 8.
Dave Wales, the ICE agent in charge of the investigation, said the contraband marijuana weighed in at approximately 1,728 pounds.
Base personnel found the 25-foot boat turned upside down on the beach. Its single outboard motor, which had been ripped from the back of the boat, was discovered nearby “broken into pieces,” Wales said. But that wasn’t the only find of the day.
“A short distance away ... I’d say no more than a quarter of a mile in a ravine, we found the marijuana,” Wales said. “It’d been stacked up and it looked like someone had tried to camouflage it with seaweed and other vegetation from the beach.
“It was kind of sticking out like a sore thumb,” he said.
Because of the condition of the boat when it was found, local law enforcement agents searched the water and shore near the crash site for people, but came up empty handed. Wales said they believe whoever was in the boat made it safely to shore and then transported the marijuana to the ravine in hopes of hiding it.
“My guess is they had engine problems and they were tossed about until the boat came ashore or they landed in the wrong place,” he said.
This is the first known crash of a panga on Vandenberg Air Force Base property. ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said a panga was discovered at the Seal Beach naval weapon station last year.
Civilians who see any suspicious activities in remote offshore areas are asked to make a report to local law enforcement.
New developer for Avila's Harbor Terrace campground 'The juvenile justice system is really a reflection of what's going on in the home ...' Proactive maneuvers, fair weather helped firefighters contain Cuesta Fire Pros and cons: Inmates help fight Cuesta Fire thanks to state program Cougars & Mustangs SLO County Jail inmate allegedly throws urine at deputy Cal Poly pays to remove Moriarty's name from Spanos scoreboard